Cold Spring Brewing Employee Spotlight – Heather Hallila

In the food and drink industry, it takes a village to ensure all products are compliant with local, state and federal regulations. There are permits that need passing, weekly testing, proper policies and procedures to follow, and more. All this before our tasty brews can be batched and shipped to a liquor store near you! So, who is responsible for getting the compliance ball rolling? Our outstanding Compliance Manager, Heather Hallila of course! This month, we’re raising our glasses to Heather, who is an integral part of ensuring our brewhouse is up to regulatory standards and in tip-top shape.

As compliance manager, Heather prepares audits, files taxes and ensures all our TSB permits and bonds are current. She also works with Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau- regulated alcohol permitting groups and customers on the alcohol approval process, prepares and reviews brewhouse policies and procedures, and audits our internal processes for our production and warehouse facilities. If one thing’s for certain, Heather’s role keeps her busy!

“This summer, I will have been employed with Cold Spring for twenty years,” said Heather. “Before starting my position as Compliance Manager, I previously worked in quality control, customer service, scheduling and planning at the brewery.”

Originally from Buffalo, MN, Heather’s start with Cold Spring began when she started college at St. Cloud State University.

“Attending college at SCSU, I had been to Cold Spring a few times as it was close by. It seemed like a cozy little town, inviting. A place you could settle down,” expressed Heather. “After just finishing college with a degree in Biology and Chemistry, my family and I attended the annual ‘Cold Spring Days’ and made a stop at the brewery to try a few of the beers. I met the president, at the time, and started chatting about if they had any lab positions open. At the time, they didn’t have anyone in the role, so he asked me when I could start. I guess it was fate!”

A craft brew fan herself, it’s no surprise that being part of the innovation which drives our
brewery’s flavors is one of Heather’s favorite perks of the job.

“One of the most interesting things about working in a brewery is seeing how new products and types of drinks are constantly emerging,” said Heather. “New flavors, new ideas, new concepts, it’s exciting to be part of the process.”

When Heather looks at Cold Spring’s future, she sees the potential for growth, looking forward to what the “next big thing” is going to be in the industry.

“I’m looking forward to seeing how we grow and evolve, running products that are delicious, innovative, and of course, high-quality,” expressed Heather. “In the twenty years that I’ve worked at the brewery I’ve seen so much change, growth and promise for the future. It’s very exciting and I feel fortunate to be able to grow and change alongside Cold Spring Brewing Company.”

When she’s not busy being a rock star Compliance Manager, Heather loves working on DIY projects around the house, gardening, reading and writing. Cheers to you, Heather!

Cold Spring Brewing Employee Spotlight – Ike Anderson

The main ingredient to our stellar beer? Fantastic Minnesota water of course. A lot of work goes into the water production of crafting our high-quality brews; our process requires a number of permits with local and state offices, weekly testing, monthly reports and compliance to ensure our water efficiency and wastewater treatment operations are running smoothly. To handle all-things water-related, there’s no better man to call than our go-to environmental engineer, Ike Anderson!

A Madison, Minnesota native, Ike moved to Saint Cloud, Minnesota in 2007 where he graduated from Saint Cloud State University with a B.S. in General Biology. By 2011, he was seeking a permanent job in the area.

“Originally I applied for a Lab Tech position at the local brewery, while there were no open positions in the lab, I was offered a role in the batching department,” said Ike. “Since then, I’ve had probably eight different job titles in the time I’ve been here, I’ve really moved around a lot within the company. I started working the night shift here in 2011 – a very different time for the Brewery! From 2015 to 2017 I moved to Missouri to court and marry my wife Ali, then we moved back to central Minnesota to have kids.”

Ike’s experience and skills make him a perfect fit for the many responsibilities that come with the environmental engineer’s role. From mechanical troubleshooting to data collection and analysis, to project oversight and working with various government offices to acquire permit compliance, Ike rarely has a slow day.

“I oversee the wastewater treatment plant, which is where our industrial production waste is treated prior to going to the City Municipal Treatment Plant,” explained Ike. “We have a number of permits with local and state offices that require weekly testing and monthly reports, I maintain that compliance for the brewery. I also keep track of a number of water use and water efficiency spreadsheets, consult on water treatment issues that occur on the incoming water side of things and provide technical assistance to management on expansion projects if we find there is going to be a big uptick in water use or waste.”

When asked what he enjoys most about the craft brew industry, Ike loves to share his passion for his role with others.

“It’s always fun to meet new people and when they ask ‘what do you do?’ you get to tell them you work at a brewery!” expressed Ike. “Their eyes light up and the conversation is generally very fun after that, it’s a really relatable opening. Everyone has an opinion, whether they like beer or not, and I think it’s interesting to hear what people have to say. I really enjoy being asked questions about the internal workings of the brewhouse, it’s a fun part of the job.”

What’s Ike looking forward to most when it comes to the future of Cold Spring? The ever increasing expansion opportunities.

“We’ve doubled in size here in Minnesota in the last three years, it’s been non-stop expansions in that time,” said Ike. “I’m excited to refocus and really concentrate on making our ‘new normal’ even more efficient than it is, we have a ton of new systems and most of the focus has just been on getting everything fired up and running. Now is the time to make it work even better.”

When Ike isn’t hard at work, he and his wife, Ali, have their hands full with a six-month-old and three-year-old. If he has the chance to sneak away, he enjoys playing video games with college buddies, reading and whatever woodworking project comes his way. Thank you for all you do, Ike! Cheers to you!

Cold Spring Brewing Employee Spotlight – Mat Eischens

The process control supervisor plays a crucial role when it comes to crafting our tasty brews. It requires overseeing plant operations for reverse osmosis (RO) water production, performing daily checks for our refrigerant system, ensuring proper water treatment of our cooling towers and a host of other technical responsibilities that all work to ensure a high-quality product from facility to fridge.

Lucky for us, we have just the man for the job.

Mat Eischens has been with Cold Spring Brewing Company for the past 14 years. A Cold Spring, Richmond-area native, Mat first became interested in our up-and-coming brewhouse happenings back in September 2006 – jumping at the chance to apply for one of our fast-paced positions.

“When I first applied to the brewery, they had been growing fast and had plenty of job openings,” explained Mat. “Also, at the time, energy drinks had just started to become very popular and with the brewery producing them, I thought it would be a great opportunity to break into a trending market.”

As process control supervisor, Mat oversees multiple brewhouse operations for our Plant A and Plant B facilities.

“My day-to-day consists of overseeing operations for the water treatment of our cooling towers, ensuring proper RO water production, helping out with the daily rounds for our refrigerant system, inspecting our pasteurizer and boiler room operations, and assisting with daily checks on our treatment plants,” said Mat. “My role is mainly to make sure that everything is functioning properly – after all, no one thinks about water until there is none!”

When asked about the most interesting aspect of working in the brewing industry, Mat said that he enjoys seeing how it is evolving and looks forward to seeing where it will go.

“I like working in the high speed environment of a brewery,” expressed Mat. “I also enjoy seeing how the industry is constantly adapting depending on new market trends.”

When Mat isn’t busy at the brewhouse, he enjoys hunting, ice fishing, golfing, watching racing and hanging out with his wife Lori and their kids Landon and Maya. Cheers to you and thank you for all you do, Mat!

Minnesota Ag Water Quality Certification Program

I think we can all agree that clean water = great beer. That’s why we are happy to announce yet another Minnesota Water Quality Certified farmer! Through our partnership with Stearns County Soil & Water Conservation District, every farm that gets the water quality certification also receives a Minnesota Gold 16 oz. 12 pack and a Minnesota Gold tin sign.

McAndrews Dairy LLC, consisting of Joe, Betty, Michael, and Kate, from Sauk Centre, recently became water quality certified through the MN Ag Water Quality Certification Program. Over the past few years, they have made upgrades to their manure storage facilities, which has allowed them to more efficiently utilize the manure generated from their 400-cow dairy. They are also utilizing no-till planting and cover crops in their cropping system to reduce the potential for runoff and leaching of nutrients and sediment to water resources. To become certified, they agreed to install alternative tile inlets on all open tile inlets to further improve water quality. Thank you for all you do to support this clean water initiative, McAndrews Dairy, and congratulations on the certification!

From left to right: Dennis Fuchs, Stearns County SWCD Administrator, Michael McAndrews, and Mark Lefebvre, SWCD Nutrient Management Specialist

Cold Spring Brewing Employee Spotlight – Linda Heinen

Here at Cold Spring Brewing Company, we strive to ensure that each and every batch of brew tastes perfect before they hit the market. That’s why, this month, we’re raising our glasses to our Brewhouse Quality Control Technician, Linda Heinen! Linda works hard to ensure our brews are crafted to perfection before they are packaged up and shipped out to liquor stores.

As the quality control technician, Linda is one of the last people to verify the product is ready to send out to the customer. Her technical role assures that the brews being produced are crafted with exceptional quality.

“I test the fermentation tanks for alcohol content and other specifications, plate for microorganisms and calibrate any equipment we use,” explained Linda. “My role ensures each batch of brew complies with quality standards and the microbiology of the beer is fit for market, so our customers can expect a high-quality product every time.”

Born and raised in Cold Spring, Linda graduated from Rocori High School and later went on to graduate from St. Cloud State University. Looking to stay in the area, Linda was seeking local work when she stumbled upon Cold Spring Brewing Company.

“I was familiar with Cold Spring Brewing Company and I thought it would be a good fit,” said Linda. “I’ve been in quality control from the start, first working in the production quality control lab and now I’ve recently made the switch to the brewhouse quality control technician role.”

Linda has been with the company for nine and a half years – so if you’ve had one of our brews in the past nine years, you can thank her for helping your Third Street favorites make it from final quality check to your glass!

When asked about the most interesting aspect of the brewing industry, Linda said she likes the pace and how the craft brew industry is evolving.

“Even though I’ve been in this business for a while, I’m still learning new and interesting things about the industry!” said Linda. “I like how things are constantly changing.”

When Linda isn’t hard at work making sure all of our brews are of the utmost quality, she enjoys spending her free time like any true Minnesotan – being outdoors. Whether it’s traveling, camping, hiking or biking, Linda makes sure to find time to get outside whenever she can.

Cheers to you, Linda!

Minnesota Ag Water Quality Certification Program

We are happy to announce another Minnesota Water Quality Certified farmer! We partner with the Stearns County Soil & Water Conservation District and every farmer that gets water quality certified receives a Minnesota Gold 12pk and a Minnesota Gold tin sign. Clean water = great beer!

Luverne and Mary Jo Forbord own and operate Prairie Horizons Farm LLC and became Ag Water Quality Certified in June 2020. Luverne grew up on the farm which has been Certified Organic since 2006. The farm covers 480 acres of perennial pastures and is home to about 150 rotationally grazed Angus cattle. Over 300 acres of row crop acres have been converted to perennial pastures using diverse mixes of warm and cool season grasses, legumes and native forbs. About 100 acres of native prairie is also managed as part of the Forbord’s rotational grazing system.

Prairie Horizons Farm LLC sells USDA Certified Grass-fed Beef from Certified Organic Pastures and a variety of Certified Organic fruits, vegetables and other farm products directly to customers through their on-farm store. Farm tours are available by appointment.

Certified Organic Fruits, Hazelnuts, Garlic & Grass-fed Beef
31008 State Hwy 29 Benson MN (GPS location)
Follow us on Facebook for Farm Store Hours and Events

[Pictured left to right; Grant Pearson Stearns SWCD Certifier and Luverne Forbord.]

Cold Spring Brewing Co. Employee Spotlight – Mitchell Schramel

Every time you open one of our beverages and it has that perfect taste, you can thank our outstanding quality control folks! Mitchell Schramel, our night shift quality control supervisor, makes sure Cold Spring Brewing Company supplies nothing but the best.

Mitchell is a Cold Spring native and has a strong passion for the area. His adventurous personality led him to Duluth, MN for college where he double majored in biology and biochemistry (smarty pants alert!!). He eventually found his way back home, where he decided he wanted to become a member of the Cold Spring Brewing family.

“Originally, I had no idea what working at Cold Spring Brewing would be like – I just thought it sounded really interesting,” says Mitchell. “Five years later, I’m still learning new things about working at a brewery.”

As night shift quality manager, Mitchell’s responsibilities include reviewing quality control department documents, working with customers on resolving quality issues and ensuring that the quality control department remains in tip-top shape.

“I really enjoy working at Cold Spring because things are always changing and I get the opportunity to continue to learn,” says Mitchell. “I’m certainly looking forward to seeing the fifth line up and running and the new warehouse that is in progress.”

When Mitchell is out of the office, he can be found fishing, hiking and breathing in the fresh air of Minnesota’s great outdoors. Thank you for all you do, Mitchell, cheers to you!

Cold Spring Brewing Employee Spotlight – Rocky Lindberg

With all the uncertainty in the world today, one thing we’re always grateful for is our
hardworking, dedicated and positive employees. For our April Cold Spring Brewing Company Employee Spotlight, there is no one who expresses these qualities better than our Plant B Night Manager – Rocky Lindberg!

Originally from Duluth, Rocky moved to St. Cloud while he was in elementary school and has remained in the area ever since. In his role at CSBC, Rocky works hard to ensure his team is well-trained, supported and inspired to create high-quality beverages that always surpass our clients’ expectations. He has been a part of the CSBC team for almost 15 years.

“I learned about this opportunity from my brother who was a shift lead at the time,” said Rocky. “I was told that the brewery was a local company that offered great pay and a fun work environment – now, I’ve been here for almost 15 years!”

As Plant B Night Shift Manager, Rocky makes sure the brewhouse’s night shift team is capable of running an efficient production line while maintaining high yields for their high-quality brews – all while promoting a safe work environment.

“My goal is to make sure my team does everything we can to be the fastest and most efficient beverage production line in the country while making sure each member is in a position to succeed,” explained Rocky. “Because of my team’s hard work, we’re well on our way.”

To name a few of Rocky’s other day-to-day duties, he stays busy by interviewing and hiring team members that share in the company’s goals, attending and presenting at meetings, learning how to run the equipment properly, providing one-on-one coaching sessions, communicating daily with team members, completing safety training procedures and quality assurance audits, and keeping other CSBC departments informed, among other responsibilities. To say Rocky helps the CSBC machine run smoothly is an understatement. We couldn’t do it without him.

CSBC is growing and changing, and Rocky is looking forward to the company’s future- including the production of the new operating plant.

“I’m interested in taking on the challenge of the developing Line 5 plant, which is a new addition up here at Plant B,” Rocky shared. “With the addition of a new facility comes new machines and new opportunities. It will no doubt be a fun, mind-blowing experience to see how it all comes together, much like Line 4 was two years ago.”

Rocky’s favorite part of working at CSBC? Working with his team and trying the fun and creative craft brews!

Cold Spring Brewing Employee Spotlight – Dustin Philbrick

The “batching process” is a key part of crafting our products. It requires the right equipment, patience, time and – at the center of it all – a trusted, hardworking team. We’re grateful to all of our dedicated employees in this division – and we’re especially proud to highlight Day Shift Batching Supervisor, Dustin Philbrick, as this month’s employee spotlight! Dustin is responsible for assessing batch changes, managing the batching team and inter-department communications related to the operation.

“My day-to-day definitely varies,” said Dustin. “I’ve been here long enough to become a ‘go-to guy’ in a lot of ways, which has been a great learning experience.”

Born and raised in Benson, Minnesota, Dustin joined the Navy following high school. After five years of service, he briefly attended St. Cloud State University. However, he decided that he wanted to do something different – and the idea of working at a brewery was very appealing. In 2005, Dustin decided to join the Cold Spring Brewing Company – and he’s been working with us to make great brews ever since.

“I always thought it would be really cool to work at a brewery,” Dustin explained. “Although, I definitely thought I’d be working with beer – as it turned out, I ended up working a lot more with the energy drinks!”

In his fast-paced role, Dustin works as a supervisor for batching a variety of energy drinks and seltzers. As batching supervisor, Dustin’s role is two-fold. First, he oversees 22 people across three different batching departments in two separate buildings. He is in charge of training new, and existing, employees to work with the new equipment, helps purchase items needed for employees to complete their duties safely and efficiently, and conducts performance reviews. Secondly, he is a subject matter expert in properly batching those delicious energy drinks.

“The role can certainly be challenging,” said Dustin. “For a while, I was in charge of the day shift and night shift, and now we have three supervisors almost trained in three different batching departments. Effectively communicating at multiple levels is always a challenge, but rewarding when you get it right.”

Working through the ranks of the company, Dustin has gained a strong understanding of the importance of effective management. When employees have the leadership, resources and education they need – everyone wins.

“I like to use my previous experience from previous roles at the Brewhouse to help others because we’re stronger together,” explained Dustin. “My role is kind of like an event coordinator

for people and our process, and I work hard to take ownership to ensure our processes run smoothly.”

When asked about what he looks forward to most for the future of Cold Spring Brewing, Dustin expressed his excitement for the upcoming infrastructure changes.

“There are so many construction projects underway,” said Dustin. “We currently have four production lines and we’re building a fifth – it’s stressful at times but cool to learn new skills that will help grow our infrastructure.”

What does Dustin love most about working at a brewery? Simply, the culture of great people.

“I’m grateful for all the people who contributed to the team,” expressed Dustin. “I don’t feel like there is this divide between employees and management. Everyone has each other’s backs or best interests in mind – we have a great culture here.”

When he’s not keeping busy in his role of day shift batching supervisor, Dustin is a true fan of a good brew. He even keeps a keg of Third Street’s Lake State Brown Ale at home.

“I enjoy spending time with my girlfriend and cats, and playing the occasional round of golf,” said Dustin. “And of course, having a brew or two.”

Cold Spring Brewing Employee Spotlight – John Krebs

Ask anyone who works in our brewery or who has toured our brewhouse – it takes a lot of daily maintenance to ensure our crisp, craft beers are brewed perfectly every time. That’s why we’re especially grateful to our Facility Maintenance Planner, John Krebs.

Born and raised in Albany, Minnesota, John has been working with Cold Spring Brewing Company (CSBC) for the past five years, working his way up the ladder in our maintenance department.

“I’ve been doing maintenance my whole career at various levels,” said John. “One thing that I recognized with CSBC is that they were, and continue to be, a growing company. It felt like a stable job and a good fit from the start.”

Originally hired on for a temp service for CSBC, John worked for four years as a line mechanic prior to his promotion to facility maintenance planner. As CSBC’s primary maintenance go-to guy, John and his team handle the maintenance of seven buildings, including the brewhouse. 

“I am responsible for the maintenance of the facility and support systems, like our ammonia refrigeration systems and compressed air systems,” explained John. “I work in the facility where they brew the beer as well as other surrounding warehouse buildings.”

In addition to working on the systems himself, John also manages three maintenance staff and communicates with external contractors for the larger upkeep jobs.

“My team works together to complete building maintenance,” said John. “We occasionally get jobs that are too big to handle internally and, when that happens, I coordinate contractors to ensure we have the resources to get the job done.”

When it comes to what he enjoys most about the craft brew industry, John finds the progression of the industry interesting in itself, especially with booming spikes in hard seltzer production.

“This [craft beer] business is taking off in different directions,” John continued. “But the really exciting part to me is seeing the growth in the hard seltzer market. I find the rapid growth fascinating.”

When asked what he’s most excited about for the future of Cold Spring, John is simply interested in seeing how the facility will change as CSBC grows.

“I’m looking forward to more expansion,” said John. “It’s no secret that we’re continually growing – we had quite a bit of growth last year and we will undoubtedly be growing this year.”

When he’s not keeping busy keeping the brewery in tip-top shape, John enjoys spending his free time gardening – especially tomatoes.  

“I like to garden, everything from watermelon and pickles to lots and lots of tomatoes,” explained John. “My main reason for growing tomatoes is to donate to the Holy Family Church fundraiser during Albany’s Pioneer Days. If you’ve enjoyed one of their tacos-in-a-bag, you’ve had my tomatoes.”